We were wondering about rye whiskey reviews - top picks, prices, etc. So, we had to ask a group of our whiskey guys and gals to help us out. We deeply appreciate their input and hope this makes shopping for some bottles easier (and more fun) for you.
You’ll find our enthusiasts below with their favorite ryes. Then we’ll give you a price breakdown and some mini-reviews to help you choose what you’ll enjoy most. Ultimately, whatever you like best should be your top rye whiskey.
We asked our experts to tell us about their favorite ryes. These ladies and gents are connoisseurs of the whiskey world. So, it’s safe to say that their opinions are worth reading. Without further ado, here are their personal Top 3 lists.
(Note: For cocktails, anything 100 proof, e.g. Rittenhouse.)
(Bonus: Redemption Barrel Proof Straight Rye)
(Some of the best but limited releases? Thomas Handy (BTAC), Michter’s Rye Barrel Proof, and Kentucky Owl Rye Batch 1.)
Want to read some actual reviews? Join us for a price breakdown, along with some quick notes and info. We’re serving all these up alphabetically within the price categories. You’ve seen our whiskey enthusiasts’ top picks. Now, it’s time to try things yourself. You be the judge! (And leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.)
Kentucky Owl Straight Rye | Price: $169.99 - $199.99
|Yep. Batch 1. It was (and still is) all the rage for good reason, but it was a limited release. Batch 2 can still be hard to come by, and though it dropped in ABV (from 110.6 to 101.8), that price tag went up. But it’s in demand and special for sure. More information here.
“Both are great yet very different. B1 is higher proofed and spicier, more similar in flavor and mouthfeel to other ryes you can find. B2 is thick and tasty, but also lighter in proof and overall character.” - Reddit
Michter’s 10 Year Kentucky Single Barrel Straight Rye | Price: $159.99 - $199.99
|There are limited quantities with this Michter ’s single barrel beauty. It’s 92.8 proof, so it’s great for sipping neat. It ’s vanilla and toffee goodness, supported by plenty of pepper and even a little citrus. More information here.
“Pretty damn good!” - Reddit
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye (BTAC) | Price: $99.99 - $109.99
|Part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, this Kentucky straight rye was last bottled at 128.8 proof. Boy howdy. More information here.
“... A more savory than sweet profile…” - Distiller
WhistlePig 10 Year / 12 Year Old World / 15 Year | Price: $79.99 - $199.99
|Almost all of the WhistlePig Ryes found their way onto our list. The 10 Yr is 100 proof, 12 Yr Old World is 86 proof, and 15 Yr is 92 proof (and extremely special). With this collection of ryes, you’re certainly going to make a lifelong friend. More information here.
“... This sure is a tasty whiskey…” - Forbes
Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye | Price: $74.99 - $89.99
|This rye will keep you warm and dry. Anywhere from 107 to 112 proof, it’s cinnamon, butterscotch, and caramel. More information here.
“...It's initially drying and hot on the palate. Complex and echoing with rounded vanilla and allspice...” - Wine Enthusiast Network
Redemption 10 Year Barrel Proof Rye | Price: $89.99 - $94.99
|This is a dark, dreamy 108.2 proof selection. You’ll be experiencing licorice, rich chocolate, pepper, and even cardamom. More information here.
“...Really delicious stuff. It delivers…!” - Reddit
Bear Wallow Distillery Liar’s Bench Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $69.99
|Retail Make Indiana a destination, Y'all. And cross your fingers you can get ahold of one of these barrel strength limited editions. Usually, it’s above 120 proof, so you’re gonna know this rye is in the house. More information here.
“...Exceptional!” - Tripadvisor
E.H. Taylor Straight Rye | Price: $69.99 - $74.99
|No corn in this bottle. It’s rye and malted barley, small batch B-I-B, 100 proof. Darkly spicy and even sweet with caramel, it’s everything rye and dry that you’ll love. More information here.
"Simply spectacular!" - John Paddon, blind tasting notes (from the 2015 International Whisky Competition).
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Straight Rye | Price: $49.99 - $59.99
|This limited release whiskey is 95% rye and 5% malted barley. Aged at least 7 to 9 years, it’s a rare find right now. At cask strength (has been over 120 proof), it’s ready to party. More information and the latest news may be found here.
“This particular bottling is a single barrel expression of rye whiskey, barreled the way God intended!” - Modern Thirst
Whiskey Acres Rye | Price: $59.99 - 64.99
|At 110 proof, it’s 75% rye and a real kick. You’ll pick up on some smooth vanilla with this strain of rye, though. More information here.
“Hilarious tour, tasty rye!” - Tripadvisor
Willett Family Estate 4 Year Rye | Price: $49.99 - $59.99
|At 110 proof, it’s heavy with cherry vanilla. It’s balanced, velvety, tart, and spicy! More information here.
“... Drinks like a whiskey 3 times the price.” - Distiller
Bulleit 95 Rye | Price: $24.99 - $34.99
|It’s 90 proof, award-winning, complex, and oh-so-spicy. More information here.
“One of my favorite whiskeys that encompasses all of my favorite attributes: smooth, flavorful, perfect sweetness and dryness, oakiness, perfect vanilla. I could go on and on.” - Google Reviews
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whiskey Price: $29.99 - $34.99
|Part of their signature series, Crown Royal gives us Canadian rye. Want butterscotch, vanilla, and pepper? You’ll find it with this one at 90 proof. More information here.
“I have never been a rye drinker until I encountered this whiskey.” - Google Reviews
Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $29.99 - $34.99
|It’s a standby for many. 100 proof and you ’re tasting a variety of sweet, nutty, herbal, and spicy with hints of vanilla and certainly that oak. It’s a solid addition to the shelf that won’t break the bank, though. It’s rye to explore. More information here.
“More spicy rye (and cinnamon) than the nose suggests; but less than most ryes…” - Reddit
|This one is known as “the last standing Maryland rye.” The 110 proof dry and spicy delight also bears notes of vanilla and clove. More information here.
“This is a strong rye whiskey with a lot of punch, but also a softer side underneath that’s worth exploring.” - The Whiskey Shelf
Rittenhouse 100 Proof | Price: $24.99 - $29.99
|This is the go-to cocktail rye for plenty of bartenders and mixologists. It’s clean with plenty of flavors. More information here.
“Rittenhouse should be considered one of the better value pours on the market.” - Modern Thirst
Sazerac 6-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $24.99 - $34.99
|Say hello to the New Orleans original, “Baby Saz,” kids. It’s candied spices, vanilla, and even a little citrus. More information here.
“I've been singing the praises of both Baby Saz neat and as the perfect rye for an Old Fashioned for some time.” - Straight Bourbon
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $39.99 - $49.99
|It’s pepper and spice at 90.4 proof, but it’s also sweet tobacco and fruit. More information here.
“... This one was well worth the wait." - Distiller
Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $15.99 - $19.99
|At 80 proof and aged 3 years, this one is a legacy for real and is perfect for the old-style Manhattan. More information here.
“A very solid rye whiskey that deserves a larger audience.” - Wine Enthusiast Network
headed out to scoop up some of these fine selections, take these rye whiskey
reviews (and us, please) with you. For real, though. Don’t do this rye journey
alone. Our handcrafted decanters and unique glassware can keep you company. Check them out.
Thanks again to
our contributors. Follow these fine folks on Instagram for more recs. And if
you happen to be adding some bourbon to your collection, read our article Bourbons to Try.
you head off into the rye whiskey night, share your favorite ryes with us
below. There’s no shame in self-promotion here, either. If your distillery is
making good things happen in rye, holler at us.
community, y’all are “all-rye-ght” with us. (Go ahead. Roll your eyes. We
deserve it for that one.)